tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC May 16, 2011 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT
>> world news is coming up next. se . tonight on "world news" -- behind bars. global shockwaves as one of the most powerful men in the world is thrown in jail. because a hotel chamber maid stood her ground and said he attacked her. the donald ducks. after all this, trump announces he will not run for president. why? and where does this leave the other scrambling candidates? right stuff. what did congresswoman gabby giffords say as she watched her husband soar towards the skies on his last shuttle flight? and crystal ball. a brand-new blood test promising to predict how long you're going to live. would you take it? do you want to know? good evening. we're glad you're with us on
this monday filled with so many surprising turns in the news. none more surprising than a story reverberating around the world. a man who stands astride global finance, a man poised to become president of france, is heading to rikers island here in new york. all because of an unyielding hotel chamber maid. "20/20" anchor chris cuomo has been tracking what happened when a woman with almost no power decided to stand her ground against one of the biggest players on the world stage. chris. >> reporter: imagine, diane, going from one of the most powerful men in the world, living a life of complete luxury, to having a ham and cheese sandwich in a new york city jail. that is the situation and it could be only the beginning. >> dominique strauss-kahn. step up. >> reporter: dominique strauss-kahn looked haggard and uncomfortable in court today, being denied bail in a sexual assault case. only days earlier, he was a celebrated potential future president of france, the powerful head of the international monetary fund,
that lends billions to countries all over the world. his accuser couldn't have a more different background. an immigrant, mother and maid who picked strauss-kahn out of a lineup as her attacker. >> the charges here and the underlying conduct are severe. he has almost no incentive to stay in this country. >> reporter: the 32-year-old told police she entered strauss-kahn's $3,000 a night suite at the sofitel hotel in midtown manhattan midday saturday to clean, thinking the room was empty. she says strauss-kahn surprised her and immediately attacked her, attempting to have sex. according to the criminal complaint, when she tried to run away, strauss-kahn locked the door to the suite, dragged her into a room and forced numerous sex acts on her. meanwhile, police say strauss-kahn left in a hurry but would later call the hotel to say he left his cell phone in his room. abc news has learned hotel employees, coached by police at the scene, got him to say that he was at jfk airport about to
get on an air france flight to paris. at 4:30 p.m., port authority officers boarded the flight just minutes before departure and took strauss-kahn into custody. strauss-kanh has a reputation as the great seducer. he recently admitted to an affair with a member of the imf. but more troubling, french writer tristane banon said today she plans to file sexual assault charges stemming from an incident in 2002, when she says she had to violently fight him off. one woman who stands by his side, however, is his wife, american-born anne sinclair. the popular french tv journalist said in a statement, "i do not believe for a single second the accusations leveled against my husband." in court, strauss-kahn offered to put up a million dollars in bail and argued he did not rush to the airport to flee the
country, saying he was at a long lunch appointment with his daughter between the time of the alleged assault and the air france flight. >> we believe and will prove in our judgment that mr. strauss-kahn is innocent of these charges. we think this case is very defensible. >> reporter: ironically, in an interview just this month, strauss-kahn said that he could foresee his presidency, his bid being upset by a woman looking to bribe him. diane, odd foretelling there. >> he said that weeks ago. so, he said/she said. what does this turn on? >> it may be, but there's going to be forensic evidence here. they're proving it right now in the prosecutor's office. if they find his dna on this accuser, he has a very tall wall to climb. >> and you mentioned that he's seeking bail. could he get bail? and could he get diplomatic immunity? does it work for him? >> as soon as this friday, he could get bail. it's not over yet. and if he does, immunity seems not to be an issue. he said he was here on private business, not on the business of the world bank. so he should get no immunity. and he's agreed to waive any extradition. he's given over his passport. so he's here and he may be here
for a very long time. >> and the story will continue all week. thank you, chris. and we turn next and now to another big headline today. he is bold, he is brash, he is big-mouthed and now he is bowing out. for more than six months, donald trump and his talk of the presidency have drained so much political oxygen out of the arena, even though at times it seemed like a publicity stunt. well, this afternoon, trump said he will not seek the republican nomination and john berman has more on the donald's decision. >> reporter: donald trump isn't running for president because this is where he says he belongs. firing meat loaf. >> and therefore, meat loaf, you're fired. >> reporter: he's staying on nbc's "celebrity apprentice," concluding a brief and uncharacteristically meek statement today with -- >> i will not be running for president, as much as i'd like to. >> reporter: this, after promising for months a big presidential announcement.
>> you may very well be surprised. i think you're going to be very surprised. i think you'll probably be surprised. >> reporter: but today little surprise. salon.com's headline, trump officially ends fake presidential campaign. his reason? fake or otherwise, business is my greatest passion and i'm not ready to leave the private sector. other possible reasons? number three, payday. nbc reportedly offered him as much as $60 million to stay on tv. number two, ridicule. trump faced withering scorn for his false claims about the president's birthplace. at the white house correspondents dinner -- >> -- can finally get back to focusing on the issues that matter. like, did we fake the moon landing? >> reporter: trump didn't like that one. >> donald trump has been saying that he will run for president as a republican which is surprising since i just assumed he was running as a joke. [ laughter ] >> reporter: no smile there either. and the number one reason not to run -- reality. there may have been little way for him to win. though trump was running second in our polling.
64% of americans said they would absolutely not vote for him. >> i've just never seen a trial balloon that blew up more or sunk faster. >> reporter: his move does leave some holes in the republican field. with mike huckabee begging off also, numbers two and three in our polling are out. and number four, sarah palin, hasn't said what she is doing. who would have ever thought mitch daniels, the governor of indiana, yet to announce, yet to break 1% in polls, would cause so much excitement? now, trump associates say he made his final decision as late as this morning. they say he'd lined up a campaign manager, finance director and a staff if he had decided to run, so they say. now his aides say he just wants to lay low for a while. diane, we'll see how that works out. >> he does, he does, he does. the republican candidates all weighed in. mike huckabee dropped out with regret. anything from him today? >> no, not a thing, which tells you they may never have taken
him as seriously as we did perhaps. >> they kind of knew all along. okay, thank you, john berman. now we turn to a stirring moment this morning. in 8 1/2 minutes, astronaut commander mark kelly and his crew rode 500,000 gallons of fuel into space, but almost equally amazing, congresswoman gabri gabrielle giffords was there, looking up at her husband, who, by the way, wore something from her on a chain around his neck. bob woodruff tells us what happened. >> zero and liftoff for the final launch of "endeavour." >> reporter: "endeavour" launched this morning with brightness and power, accelerating through the clouds at 17,000 miles per hour, captain mark kelly at the helm. >> to all the millions watching today, including our spouses and children, family and friends, we thank you for your support. >> reporter: from her wheelchair, his wife, congresswoman gabby giffords, joined the families of the other
astronauts watching from the roof of this building. >> we were just standing there taking the moment in. at the end she said to me, "good stuff." >> reporter: for mark, gabby wrote a note, by hand, which is now hidden somewhere in the shuttle. back on earth, after the launch, mark's twin brother scott went to work. his job? special deliveries from mark. red tulips for gabby. a red rose to each of his teenage daughters. and mark and gabby swapped their wedding rings. she is wearing his ring on a chain around her neck. four months ago, mark told diane it was one of the first objects she reached for after the tragedy in tucson. >> she loves to play with my ring. so, that's what i'm going to -- i'll be over there right now and i know, you know, she'll be pulling it off my finger and putting it on hers and moving it from one to the other. >> reporter: and tonight as he soars above the clouds, he'll hold hers, which is inscribed with the phrase he put there for her, "you are the closest to heaven i've ever been."
now, gabby just left here late this afternoon heading back to houston so she can start her rehabilitation, her therapy again, possibly even later tonight. there's one thing that's changed though, now she's carrying around her blackberry, just in case mark gives her a call from space. diane, you can imagine, she just does not want to miss it. >> she is not going to miss it. thank you, bob woodruff. and now the u.s. government's appetite for borrowing hit a mind-boggling level today. more than $14 trillion in the hole. you're looking at the national debt clock. debt, like time, waits for no man. the scrambling to find a way out has begun, of course. it's the latest alarming evidence, that evidence today, that america is drowning in debt. jake tapper on how bad and how it got this way, what happens next. >> reporter: imagine that your family has maxed out its credit cards. that's exactly what the u.s. government did today, reaching its debt limit, $14.29 trillion.
but unlike the way you or i would be forced to deal with hitting such a limit, the u.s. government routinely raises its own credit limit. congress has done this more than 100 times since 1940. >> the resolution is passed. >> reporter: but not this year. so the treasury department has created some wiggle room for a few months. >> because congress has not yet acted to raise limits, we have now set in motion a series of extraordinary measures that will give congress some additional time to raise the debt limit. >> reporter: those measures include tinkering with or borrowing billions from special government funds. now some conservatives are talking about extreme measures almost like a yard sale, such as selling off government assets like land, buildings or even the 261.5 million ounces of gold, mostly in ft. knox, that the treasury department owns. valued today at almost $400 billion. >> selling america's gold is probably not such a bad idea. there aren't really very many good reasons for the government to hold a stockpile of gold.
>> reporter: that would only buy us about three months before we'd be right back in the same situation. and republicans in congress are refusing to raise the debt ceiling without slashing spending, as -- >> to raise the debt ceiling without dealing with the underlying problems is totally irresponsible. >> reporter: if the u.s. came even close to defaulting on its debt, interest rates will skyrocket, the stock market would plummet, as would the gross domestic product, and there would be immediate layoffs. diane. >> the wrangling goes on. thank you, jake tapper. two weeks after the raid that took down osama bin laden, the u.s. and pakistan are working to mend fences. with secretary of state hillary clinton planning to visit pakistan soon. during the operation, you may remember, we told you, right here, the u.s. lost a secret futuristic helicopter. the navy s.e.a.l.s even blew it up at the scene, fearing that china would get its hands on the technology. well now, pakistan is promising
to return the leftover parts of that chopper tomorrow. and still ahead on "world news" -- a simple blood test that claims science can predict how long you'll live. will you take this test if you could? and a medical mystery. a mom silenced. she lost her voice because of a common cold? see how ten minutes gave it back. when your eyes are smiling... you're smiling. and when they're laughing... you're laughing. be kind to your eyes... with transitions lenses. transitions adapt to changing light so you see your whole day comfortably... and conveniently while protecting your eyes from the sun. ask your eyecare professional which transitions lenses are right for you. her morning begins with arthritis pain.
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now, a question for you. what if you could find out how long you'll live? and what if all it took was a simple blood test and several hundred dollars? would you do it? would you want to know? it's a conversation we had today here after we learned what sounds like science fiction, in fact, is present right now. and sharyn alfonsi has more. >> reporter: it's a simple blood test. and while most of us could handle this, could you stomach the results? the test will tell you how long you'll likely live. how? well, it turns out your gray hair or even the wrinkles on your face are not the best indicators of how well you're aging. rather, it's something called telomeres. telomeres are the tips of your chromosomes. you're born with them. as you age, they shorten. this blood test actually measures them. if you have shorter than normal telomeres for someone your age, you're aging faster than normal and will have a shorter life. shorter telomeres are often found in people with heart
disease, obesity, alzheimer's. >> it does not give you an expiration date. that doesn't mean you're going to die at 80. >> reporter: the test cost about $700. but do people really want to know how long they'll live? would you want to know? >> no. i just feel it's fate. and what is going to happen is going to happen. >> i don't want to know. >> reporter: what if it's you only had a week left to live? >> c'est la vie. >> reporter: the test opens up an ethical pandora's box. >> it's possible that health insurance companies can say, we just won't insure you unless you have the test done. it's possible life insurance and also disability insurance companies may say, if you want us to give you life insurance and disability insurance, we want to know how long you're going to live. >> reporter: still, for others, it offers a tantalizing opportunity. if you took the blood test and it said you only have, you know, a month to live, how would you live life differently?
>> i'd probably go traveling and i'd spend all of my money. >> reporter: spend all your money because you can't take it with you. the blood test will first be sold in europe, later here. and there's a lot of interesting work going on in this field. studies show in the same ways stress, smoking and drinking can shorten your telomeres, you can lengthen them as well by exercise and they say meditation. >> so a telomere alert is going out. you can lengthen them. and no one wanted to know? >> not one person we spoke to wanted to know. coming up, something you will want to know before your next trip to the hospital. rip to the hospital. your advertising mail campaign is paying off! business is good! it must be if you're doing all that overnight shipping. that must cost a fortune. it sure does. well, if it doesn't have to get there overnight, you can save a lot with priority mail flat rate envelopes. one flat rate to any state, just $4.95. that's cool and all... but it ain't my money. i seriously do not care... so, you don't care what anyone says, you want to save this company money! that's exactly what i was saying.
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take action. take advil. save on advil with our special coupon in select newspapers on may 22. some of the mighty mississippi's strength was sapped today. waters that threatened to flood baton rouge and new orleans were diverted away from the big cities down river. 11 gates along the morganza spillway are now open. the water rushing so fast it would fill an olympic-sized pool in nine seconds. small towns and farms sacrificed but not without last ditch efforts. homes were rapped in plastic and fortified with sandbags, homemade levees. there was even a sign that sums it up, "we will return." and something to consider before your next trip to the hospital. we learned today that patients admitted on the weekends have a higher mortality rate than those admitted monday through friday. researchers say they can't exactly say why but they do
think that skeletal staffing on the weekends could be a factor. and do you remember our person of the week on friday before we left you? james tate who asked his date to the prom with cardboard paper cutouts outside the school? well, that romantic gesture got him banned from the prom on charges of trespassing. but thanks to you, our viewers, 10,000 tweets, 175,000 facebook friends and a little nudge from jimmy kimmel you saw there, the school reversed its decision. james will go to the prom. and there's a move afoot to name him prom king. dance one for us, james. and coming up, a medical mystery solved. one mom's four-month ordeal ended. [ male announcer ] those with frequent heartburn imagine a day free of worry, a day when we can eat what we want, drink what we want, and sleep soundly through the night. finally that day has arrived with prevacid®24hr. just one pill helps keep you heartburn-free
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side effects may include headache, nosebleed, and sore throat. i tossed those allergy symptoms out of my party. [ man ] omnaris. ask your doctor. battling nasal allergy symptoms? omnaris combats the cause. get omnaris for only $11 at omnaris.com. finally tonight, solving a medical mystery. who knew a common cold could shut down your voice for months and 15 minutes give it back? how? here's linsey davis. >> mom. >> reporter: one day, erin martin, a wife, mom and business owner, caught a simple cold and days later lost her voice. weeks turned into months. >> it just progressively turned more into this whisper that i have.
>> reporter: a medical mystery. specialists put her on antibiotic, steroids, muscle relaxants and acid reflux relievers. when nothing worked, she was terrified she had cancer. >> just kind of been no answers. >> reporter: life as she knew it changed. no more cheering for her kids. silence at the salon. and routine things at home became a challenge. >> the unfun part was she had to bang on the wall to wake us up in the morning. >> reporter: it not only had a strain on her voice but on her marriage. >> it was like i wasn't married. >> reporter: four agonizing months. and then friends told her about something they heard in the news. >> they called and said you've got to listen to this woman. she sounds just like you. >> i can't order food at a restaurant because people don't understand me. >> reporter: in that story was a doctor who said a common cold can cause something called functional dysphonia, when a cold virus enters your voice
box, it can cause irritation and swelling. a little swelling makes your voice hoarse. a lot of swelling can trigger an abnormal tightening of the muscles around the voice box, causing you to lose your voice completely. erin didn't know if that's what she had but she made an appointment and drove seven hours to the cleveland clinic where the same doctor from the news story said it might take only minutes to change her life. just watch. >> sit up straight and try to relax your throat. i'm kind of pushing down on your voice box. >> reporter: dr. milstein massages and relaxes the muscles around her vocal cords to release the built-up tension. at first, nothing. >> eeeee. >> reporter: then, after five minutes, hints of her voice. after ten minutes -- >> monday, tuesday, wednesday. >> wow. again. >> reporter: and 15 minutes later she could not believe it. her four-month ordeal was over. >> i hear my laugh. now i'm going to cry.
>> reporter: she couldn't wait to call her kids. >> are you sure it's not a prank call? >> it's not a prank call. >> reporter: erin quickly rediscovers a new preesh apreeshation for the simplicity of joys. >> you got to get your uniform on. >> reporter: being mom again. linsey davis, abc news, delaware. so good to begin this week with you. we're always on the news at abcnews.com. "nightline" along later. we'll see you back here tomorrow night. "nwy >> east bay property owners at odds with the local government. why the city might resend an emergency storm deularation. >> and a follow up on the woman who gave her eight year old daughter botox in-- investigation. >> and the return of giant fan
bryan stow. he will return to the hospital . a fleet of deteriorating ships and restoring hope to a bay area town. >> it is raining throughout much of the east bay right now. it is the devastating rain was march has residents worried. >> the city is about to cut off the emergency deularation. they are live in san pablo city hall where the city is meeting. >> you can see the closed doors behind me. they are working on a strategy for how to deal with angry homeowners. homeowners who are unhappy about a land slide on their property that began six weeks ago. >> looking at a foundation crack that is underneath. >> leon wr